First off, there could not be a better narrator for these Chester Himes books. Dion Graham brings them to life more than if you were reading the book yourself. This was my very first introduction to Himes, and I am glad I started here although someone who likes a traditional story might dislike this one. This book is very wild and disjointed. Many of the chapters do not fit with each other to make a coherent picture. I've laughed out loud while reading this book, but also its sad in many ways. I was reading this book simultaneously while reading a book about soldiers in WWII. So, I had this book which is about all the hustlers and dregs of society and all of America's racism boiling over, then the other book about what heroes in this country look and act like. You should not read this book if you want to feel good about the country. If you want to see seething black rage towards whites, rampant prostitution, and violence... then this is good. With that said, I think one could miss the theme of this book. It's overall message. Without top notch writing and narration, it would have been worthless trash.
5 stars for the perfect narration. 5 stars for the compelling, deep-digging investigative work. This book blew my mind to put it lightly. The only con about it is that dozens of Hispanic names are thrown at you that you'll most likely forget and mix up save for the few key players. If you ever wondered why everyone in modern America was on crack in the 90's, well, this will pretty much answer it for you. And you'll also find out what happens to your stolen cars!
The hard part about writing reviews is that you write them in hindsight, after you've finished the book, to influence people who have not yet read the book. I would not want to turn anyone away from this book. It was interesting enough to keep me reading and I reached a part where I really thought it was pretty dumb. Then the book turned on me and renewed my faith in Tana French's ability as a writer. She truly does handle her craft rather well and I'm learning to go the distance with her and trust she'll carry the story through handsomely until the end. The narration on this was very good. I felt he handled the female voices well.
I didn't expect much from this, being that it's so old. I also expected it to be written in an overly-verbose way. I was wrong on all counts. It's very blunt and to the point. No lollygagging. It really puts you in the stockade with the prisoners. I'm sure not all of it is true, because obviouslly you wouldn't write a diary about escaping from prison while you're in prison, but it's a good book. Not boring at all.
I think the narrator does a pretty good job with this book. For the first hour, I thought it was kind of dry and boring or that it wasn't any different from listening to the radio show. then it picked up and to tell you the truth, it's scarier than anything Stephen King can write. The radio show is kind of a freestyle that bounces off callers, but this is more like a log of a lot of things going wrong in this country that you either forgot about or didn't know the depth of. It's not a perfect book. There are some things I disagree with, but it is worth reading so that you might cherry-pick your own ideas out of it. Overall, I felt it was a pretty sober-minded account if you want to grasp how and why our country has become so neutered. Lets all hope there truly is never another civil war.
I know nothing about the TV show, but this was on sale and I thought I'd give it an open-minded try. Within the first half hour, I could tell this was chick lit through and through by the tone and content of it. A bored chick with nothing else going on in her life, so she starts hustling drug money internationally. I endured for 4 chapters, then deleted it. I think a female audience might be able to suspend disbelief and handle the tone of the book better, but I wouldn't recommend it to men to read.
McKinty's series books are great. Some of the best you can read. I was hugely disappointed with this and gave up on it with about 40 minutes left to go. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't compelling. Couldn't get attached to any of the characters. It wasn't fun. I do, however, recommend Hidden River which blew me away and is in my opinion his best book.
I read all of McKinty's series books. Then I started in on the stand-alone books (50 Grand, Hidden River, Falling Glass and The Sun is God). Really, really felt like Falling Glass was forced and boring. Didn't like Sun is God. Same thing- it didn't have that kick to it like the other books. Well, I decided to give Hidden River a shot and I'm glad I did. This one has all the good moves like the Duffy and Forsythe books. You can burn right through this book because of how well it flows. And for fun, you must pay attention at the 2 hour, 43 minute mark to hear Gerard Doyle royally muck up a black taxi driver's voice. Sounds like a big fat cookie monster. Hilarious. Otherwise, Doyle is perfect. I almost feel that Gerard Doyle is Robin to McKinty's Batman.
This story is masterful in the way its written. I recently finished reading a few other 'mystery' type books where you hit pockets when the author sort of loses you in the suspension of disbelief and you know its a fictional book. Not with Tana French. You get pulled in and its all very real. I don't know why, but the recording on this book sounds slightly muffled. But you get over it after a few minutes and, other than that, its narrated pretty well especially with all the Irish slang and accents. I really thought the plot of this one was brilliant compared to other books not only in this series but in this genre as a whole.
I was introduced to McKinty through the Duffy trilogy, which is still his best work so far. I really found the subject of this book a bit of an odd direction for him, but also I was curious to see how he would handle it as an author. Overall, I found this to be an interesting book. Not as compelling as other books he has penned, but interesting. McKinty's style is there and it dances with wanting to be a Duffy or Forsythe book, but manages to hold its own identity despite being a crime investigation story. Gerard Doyle did an amazing job of narrating. This book had just the right length too, as one more hour would have killed it. Overall, it's a brief, interesting read.
First off, I hate Naked Lunch. Maybe the worst book I've ever read. Burroughs is one of those writers you feel like you're supposed to like, then you read Naked Lunch and decide for yourself its all academic snob hype and nothing more. Junky is a different beast altogether. Junky is very blunt, very well-written. It transports you back in time very easily to the 1950's. It falls into line with On the Road, but to me is the darker, brooding kid brother. Narration on this is great. If you hated Naked Lunch, give this a shot (in the arm).
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